Time course of matrix metalloproteases and tissue inhibitors in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis

Tiberio Oggionni, P. Morbini, S. Inghilleri, G. Palladini, R. Tozzi, P. Vitulo, C. Fenoglio, S. Perlini, E. Pozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate simultaneously localization and relative activity of MMPs during extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in rat, we analyzed the time course of the expression, activity and/or concentration of gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, collagenase MMP-1, matrylisin MMP-7, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, both in alveolar space (cellular and extracellular compartments) and in lung tissue. MMP and TIMP expression was detected (immunohistochemistry) in lung tissue. MMP activity (zymography) and TIMP concentration (ELISA) were evaluated in lung tissue homogenate (LTH), BAL supernatant (BALs) and BAL cell pellet (BALp) 3, 7, 14, and 28 days after bleomycin intratracheal instillation. Immunohistochemistry showed an extensive MMP and TIMP expression from day 7 in a wide range of structural and inflammatory cells in treated rats. MMP-2 was present mainly in epithelia, MMP-9 in inflammatory cells. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity was increased respectively in BAL fluid and BAL cells, with a peak at day 7. TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 concentration (ELISA) enhancement was delayed at day 14. In conclusion gelatinases and their inhibitors are significantly activated during bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Marked changes in gelatinases activity are observed early in the alveolar compartment, with a prevailing extracellular activity of MMP-2 and a predominant intracellular distribution of MMP-9, while enzyme activity changes in lung parenchyma were less evident. In the repairing phase the reduction of gelatinases activity is synchronous with a peak of alveolar concentration of their inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean journal of histochemistry : EJH
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Bleomycin
  • Metalloprotease, MMP
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Tissue specific inhibitor, TIMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


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